February 26, 1937 (18th Parliament, 2nd Session)


John Gordon Ross


Mr. J. G. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

Before the third reading of this bill finally carries, and in reply to my right hon. friend (Mr. Bennett) who so kindly mentioned me a moment ago in regard to remarks in caucus, I may say that he is entirely wrong in what he said, and not only that but I suggest that he try to keep up the fences of his own caucus without endeavouring to look after ours.
This committee that was set up was appointed not by statute but, as I understand it, by order in council. The committee which was to give such valuable advice to the government was called together once while the late government was in office, and I believe the members were appointed some three days before they were called together by wire. The soil laboratory work that my right hon. friend speaks of has been going on for years at the university in Saskatoon, and any change from Swift Current to Regina therefore will not affect that work at all.
In speaking of Mr. Vallance, who is in charge of the work out there, I would say that surely in a work of this kind it is much 31111-82$
better to have in charge a man who has had actual experience, as Mr. Vallance has had, in Saskatchewan, rather than one even who has been in the government service on an experimental farm. Mr. Vallance came to Saskatchewan many years ago. He started in as a homesteader, went through all the trials and tribulations that every farmer in that country has had to face in recent years, and understands their situation from personal experience. Men who have been in government positions cannot see nearly as well as the ordinary farmer who has himself been through those experiences the troubles that the ordinary farmer has. Mr. Vallance is a practical man, a good grain farmer, a good live stock farmer, and a much better man to head such a committee or such work in that part of the country than any man who has been in a sheltered government position for many years and has never had to endure those hardships. As for Mr. Vallance coming back into public life, I hope some day he will do so. He was a great asset to this house and this country, and will be again if he ever chooses to run.
My right hon. friend accused Mr. Vallance of being that type of man who could not be in any town for more than an hour or two-before getting mixed up in politics. I do not think that is a fair statement in regard to Mr. Vallance or any other man appointed to public office who, in his work, is supposed not to deal with politics but with the duties of the position to which he has been appointed. For instance, just prior to the election, my right hon. friend appointed to the bench in Saskatchewan perhaps one of the bitterest partisans we ever had in that province. I make no comments in that regard; I believe that gentleman has made an admirable judge. I think he forgot politics, as he should, the moment he was appointed to the bench, and I am satisfied that John Vallance is not talking or thinking politics any more than that man now on the bench is thinking politics. Because the one happens to be a lawyer and the other a poor rural rustic from Saskatchewan is no reason why these men should be put in different categories. It may be so in the minds of some people but certainly not in the minds of the people of western Canada.
Speaking of appointments made by those in office which should not be made, my mind harks back to the election of 1926. I believe at that time my right hon. friend was in charge of the Department of the Interior, and at that time there was appointed-
Farm Rehabilitation-Mr. Ross (Moose Jaw)

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